One thing I always appreciated about donuts (apart from their deliciousness) is how versatile they are. It gets boring when you always eat the same flavors, and as much as you might enjoy blueberry or chocolate donuts, you need to try something different every now and then.
When I want to enjoy something that’s not a classic donut flavor, I choose cheese donuts. They have that unique combination of sweet and savory, soft and crispy. Cheese donuts come in several variants, and I can’t really decide which one is my favorite.
Interesting Facts About Donuts
Yeast vs. Cake
Food experts differentiate cake vs yeast donuts. Both types of donuts are made with the same ingredients, except for the ingredient responsible for the dough leavening. As their name suggests, yeast donuts are made of dough that has been leavened with yeast, while the cake donuts dough is leavened with baking powder or baking soda.
These differences might seem insignificant to you, but they greatly affect the texture and flavor of the donuts. Yeast donuts will have a light and bubbly texture, full of air pockets. Cake donuts are more compact, sturdy, and dense.
When it comes to flavor, yeast donuts will have a barely noticeable tangy, fermented flavor. Cake donuts have a more buttery flavor. Also, cake donuts are more adequate to be coated with various toppings and icing types, while yeast donuts are perfect for making filled donuts.
Different Donuts Around The World
Donuts are seen as mostly American food but almost every country has its own donut variety, and many of them have interesting stories.
In Brazil, donuts are made in the shape of a bell, and they are called sonhos, which means dreams. These pastries were brought to Brazil by Portuguese colonizers.
In Israel, jelly donuts called sufganiyah(meaning to soak) are traditionally prepared for Hanukkah, when the rededication of the Second Temple is celebrated.
According to the traditional story, when Jews managed to finally restore Jerusalem and the Temple, they only had enough oil to light the Temple’s lanterns for one day. However, the lanterns continued to shine miraculously for 8 days, and it kinda makes sense to enjoy deep-fried foods when celebrating this interesting event.
In Cambodia, donuts are made of jasmine rice flour and drizzled with palm sugar toffee. These donuts are called nom kong, which basically means wheel-shaped pastry.
Indonesians have donat kentang, which means potato donut. It is made of mashed potatoes and flour and iced with powder sugar.
In Germany, donuts are called Berliner, except in Berlin itself, where they are called pfannkuchen. In the rest of the country, pfannkuchen means pancake. Berliner donuts are soft, without holes, and usually filled with jam.
Many other European countries, including the Slavic ones such as Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Poland, Ukraine, Czech Republic have similar donuts to the German ones.
My favorite recipe for cheese donuts is quite simple, and you don’t need many ingredients. First, you should gather the ingredients for the dough:
- 1 tablespoon of fresh yeast
- 1/3 cup of milk
- 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour.
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup of butter
- 1/4 cup of sugar
- 2 eggs
You will also need to make the Mornay sauce, and here are the ingredients required:
- 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup of butter
- 1 cup of grated Lincolnshire poacher cheese
- 1 cup of milk
- 1 cup of cream
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 1/2 tablespoon of Dijon mustard
Step By Step On How To Make Cheese Donuts
Now that you gathered all of the ingredients, let’s make some awesome cheese donuts:
- For a start, warm the milk until it is warm to the touch, but not too warm.
- Stir in the yeast until well combined.
- In the mixer bowl, combine flour, sugar, eggs, and salt.
- Add the milk-yeast mixture and stir gently, gradually increasing the mixing speed.
- Mix on high for 10 minutes, until the dough starts separating from the inner walls of the bowl.
- Place the butter in the microwave for 10-20 seconds on low, and once it melts, mix it into the dough until well combined.
- Let the dough rest in a warm place for 2 hours.
While the dough rests, you can go ahead and make the sauce. To do so, you should follow these steps:
- In a saucepan, melt the butter and flour over medium heat, stirring them together to create a roux.
- After a couple of minutes, add the grated cheese and continue cooking until the cheese melts, constantly stirring.
- Add the milk gradually, and then add the cream.
- Lower the heat and continue cooking the sauce until it becomes thick and glossy.
- Add salt and mustard and stir everything well together.
- Allow the sauce to cool down a bit before using it further in the recipe.
Assuming that your donut dought rested long enough, you need to divide it into 25 equally sized balls. Place them on a lightly floured tray, making sure that there is at least 2 inches of space between them.
After 1-2 hours, the dough balls will rise and reach almost twice their original size. This is when you will fry them:
- Preheat your deep fryer filled with oil until the oil reaches 375 degrees F.
- Fry the donuts in batches until they are thoroughly cooked and golden brown.
- After frying, drain each donut on the plate lined with paper towels.
- Fill the piping bag with warm (not hot) Mornay sauce.
- Make a small hole in each donut and fill it generously with the sauce.
- Sprinkle the donuts with Parmesan cheese and serve.
Sweet Cheese Donuts Recipe
If you want to enjoy cheese donuts that are a bit sweeter, you should try Russian ponchiki, a type of small cheese donut holes. These donuts are full of farmer’s cheese and they are the best when served immediately, either with some hot coffee or tea or as a dessert.
Another great thing about this recipe is that it doesn’t require too many ingredients. You will only need:
- 2 cups of Farmer’s cheese
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/2 cup of flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- Hot oil for frying
Once you have all of the ingredients, it is time to combine them and make your ponchiki.
- First, whisk together sugar and eggs.
- Add cheese and baking powder to the mixture and stir until well combined.
- Gradually add the flour and mix everything until you get a smooth dough.
- While you knead the dough, preheat the oil until it reaches 375 degrees F.
- Using an ice cream scoop, make small balls of dough and drop them into the hot oil. This way, every donut will be the same size and shape.
- Don’t fry too many donuts at once, instead, allow them to have enough space to fry evenly.
- Fry until the donuts are golden brown on each side.
- To drain them from the excess oil, place the donuts onto the cooling rack lined with paper towels.
- Once they cool down a bit, sprinkle the donuts with powdered sugar.
Why Are Donut Holes Named That Way?
In the past, donut holes were made from the leftover dough that remained after making the donut rings. It was a good way to prevent any waste, but today, most donut holes are no longer made from the leftover dough.
Which Oil To Use When Frying Donuts?
You need to choose the oil that has a high smoke point and a mild taste that won’t overpower the donut taste. With that in mind, your best choices are vegetable oil, sunflower oil, canola oil, grapeseed oil, and avocado oil.
Which Flour Is Best For Making Donuts?
Yeast donuts are best when made with bread flour, which gives them elasticity and creates more air pockets. On the other hand, cake donuts should be made with all-purpose flour because they would be too tough if made with bread flour.
At Which Temperature Should You Fry Your Donuts?
If you fry your donuts at a low temperature, they will absorb too much oil and will become too chewy and tough. That’s why you need to make sure that the oil temperature stays between 365 and 380 degrees F.
Are Cheese Donuts Sweet Or Savory?
Cheese donuts can be both sweet and savory, depending on how much sugar you used in making them and what kind of cheese you used in the recipe. Also, if there are other ingredients, such as jam, vanilla cream, or mustard, they will determine whether your donuts are sweet or savory.
Cheese donuts are great as a dessert, or as a savory snack that will quickly fill up your stomach. They are easy to make and even easier to eat.
These donuts are best when made with mild cheeses, such as mozzarella, cream cheese, and farmer’s cheese. You can make your own cheese donuts or enjoy store-bought ones. Either way, cheese donuts are a treat you shouldn’t miss!
Do you like cheese donuts? How do you make them? Share in the comments!